An Officer: A Gentleman and A Soldier

“Some Goals Are So Worthy It’s Glorious Even To Fail”

                                            -Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey


We always admire and respect the men in uniform. The way they carry themselves clearly makes them a class apart. They are the best examples of modern gentlemen with all of their admirable qualities of being honest, trustworthy, chivalrous and dependable among others.

Becoming an officer in the armed forces is a long journey in itself, where the defence aspirant has to clear the written examination, get recommended in the SSB interview, clear his medicals and come out in the merit list in order to make it to the coveted academies, but nothing in life worth having comes easily.

After reaching the academies it is always a tough job handling the new routine and lifestyle as the cadets are made to live their life on the double. No two days are the same at the academy as the cadet is made to face a new challenge everyday testing him both physically and mentally, often draining them out but as the old saying goes “a true gem can only be obtained after it undergoes the test of fire”.  

The question that comes up next is “What makes an Officer?”. What is the difference between a normal person and an officer? Is the difference limited to those 15 officer-like qualities? Or is it something more? While people want a comfortable and enjoyable life what makes these selected few leave all the comforts, go through a tough selection procedure and then an even tougher training just so as to stay posted in extreme conditions with a 24 hr danger to their life? Is it the respect of the uniform, the pride for their nation or the zeal for a more adventurous life? It cannot be ascertained.

However, one thing is common for all, the journey called life and there are often times when we face ups and downs which many times completely break us. Times when it seems like that all our friends, family and all the near and dear ones are going far ahead of us and no matter what we do we just end up looking at them walking far ahead of us. All the dreams and aspirations feel distorted and out of reach.  

Now what should one do at times like these? The answer is Visualization. At times like these, one just needs to visualize where he needs to go, what kind of a person he wants to become and remember the fact that to shine like a star you need to first burn like one.

Whatever happened till now in one’s life isn’t the end of their story. They can still have that one day, that one moment of change which will change their life forever.

What propels and gives birth to this change is the moment of self realization and introspection. These will not only help in developing the officer like qualities but also help in breaking the comfort zone and realizing the deeper potential within oneself. But the change is never easy, it will be hard and there will be setbacks but the one who has the determination and the willpower will rise above these setbacks. Also the power of prayer will always help in the journey. But here praying doesn’t mean that one leaves the entire thing in the hands of the almighty. The prerequisite is to put in your own hard work and sincere efforts first. 

The conclusion is that while being an officer depends upon the work and efforts we put in, being a gentleman and a good person is a matter of choice. Live life with integrity, be humble, empathetic, courageous and morally upright and think and act like an officer, fake it till you make it. Or as I may like to rephrase myself, fake it till you become it.

Signing Off

A Defence Aspirant


“It Is Better To Live One Day As A Lion Than A Hundred Years As A Sheep”


Col. MM Nehru

Col. MM Nehru

While in the Army as a Colonel, Judged Reality Show, “Mission Army-Desh ke Rakshak” of National Geographic in 2011.
Selector for Defence Services at 17 SSB, Bangalore.

SPORTS & FITNESS RELATED EXPERIENCE: Trained Services/ national/international level boxers. Trained Services athletes.
Top level Tennis player in India (above 55 years age category).

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